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  • Writer's pictureJillian Felty

The Weight of Words: How Copy Can Make or Break Your Business

Have you ever read a business' website and thought dang, that's good. The words were spot-on, their brand voice was clear, and their offer was too good to refuse?

That's the power of great copy.

But when your message doesn’t hit the mark, it can impact how people feel about your product or service before they ever actually interact with you. And that can be costly.

It’s true what they say: Words have the power to build something up or tear it down. Words are powerful.

So how do you know if you have the right words working for you? Let’s take a look at how to know if your messaging is building up your business or tearing it down, one sentence at a time.

Your website passes the “Yes!” test.

Is your website selling for you? Or do visitors click off within seconds of arriving? If you have a confusing message, it’s likely you’re missing out on sales. That’s where the YES test comes in.

The “YES!” Test helps you filter out what’s working about your website header. Here’s how it works …

When a new customer lands on your page for the first time, they should be able to quickly answer an emphatic “YES!” to the following questions within 5 seconds:

  1. Do I know who you are?

  2. Do I know what you’re selling?

  3. Do I know how to buy it?

The YES test helps serve as a filter for the most important information about your brand. Would you know what this website sells if you landed here for the first time?

Example of a Bad Website

Quick answer: NO. You’d probably have waaaayyy more questions than you did answers.

But if you landed on this website …

Example of a Great StoryBrand Website

You’d know exactly who they are, what they do, and how to get it. Amazing. The beauty of clarity.

So ask around to friends and family (and maybe some strangers on the street). Is your website clear? Does it pass the YES test?

You position your brand as the guide.

Have you ever landed on a site that talks about them more than it talks about you? You know, the “my father started this company 30 years ago and since then we bought 30 trucks and hired a bigger team to serve you” sorta thing?

That’s a business that’s making itself the hero of the story.

Here’s the thing: None of your customers see you as the hero in their story. They are the hero in their own story. Think about it: People are generally kinda selfish. They don’t see some family-owned business as the hero of their story. They are the hero of their story. And they want a solution to their problem. Ergo, they want a guide.

Don’t make the story about you. Make the story about your customer, and how you can help them win the day.

You always know what to say.

How many times has someone asked what you do and you’ve responded with “it’s kinda complicated.”

Womp womp. They’ve checked out.

Here’s the thing: What you do might be complicated. It might even be literal rocket science. But talking about what you do doesn’t have to be.

So, let’s take something a little more complicated, like Managed IT. Instead of saying “I work in managed IT,” you might say:

“Tons of small businesses buy tech solutions but don’t understand them fully, which can waste hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. At Tech4U, we find tech solutions for small businesses and train their staff to use it to its fullest capacity so they can operate more efficiently and be more profitable.”

See the difference? It’s huge. One closes a story and answers a question directly. The other clearly states what it is that you do by opening a story loop. It piques the interest of people listening. And I can guarantee that small business owners around you will say “That’s a problem I can relate to. What types of small businesses do you work with?”

It’s perfect for networking. For email signatures. For blog sign-offs. For podcast introductions. The use for these little elevator pitches is endless. It equips you and your staff with simple words that grow your business.

Let’s recap.

The right words for your business are the ones that clearly state what you do and why it matters to your customer or client. Keyword there? Clarity. When your message is clear, you will win. And you’ll help your clients win along the way.

Want us to check your website for any messaging missteps? We’ve got you. Fill out the form below and we’ll respond in the next 24 business hours with our feedback!

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